Anxiety Headlines: How to Cope

We are living in strange times. Anxiety headlines seem like the new normal–COVID-19, political and social unrest, economic struggles, etc. How can you help your participants cope?

Like it or not, we live in a day and age when news headlines make us more anxious than ever. Turning on the television or checking the internet amplifies our worries when we are already tense.

The struggle to maintain balance and stay grounded when we are constantly assaulted with anxiety headlines can be difficult for just about anyone. 

Group and one-on-one therapy can help individuals discuss their anxieties about current events. After all, many people feel better once opening up and realizing others are going through the same struggles when faced with anxiety headlines. 

My new book, Therapy Games for Teens, comes out this week. It addresses several important mental health issues like anxiety, depression, self-esteem, communication, and mindfulness.

I started writing this book as COVID-19 was emerging as a world-wide pandemic. While creating the anxiety chapter, I knew anxiety headlines was a topic that needed to be addressed. 

Here is an adapted version of a therapy activity from my new book you can use with your participants. It’s a simple activity that helps start important discussions about managing anxiety during difficult times. 

Check it out…

Anxiety Headlines

Examining how current events and news headlines can cause anxiety.

What You’ll Need: 

Pencils and paper; dry-erase board and markers


20 to 25 minutes

Best for:

2 to 6 people

Leading the Activity:

  • Discuss how local and world events can play a role in a person’s anxiety,
  • Have participants share where they get their news–TV, social medial, news feeds, etc.
  • Discuss whether these are reliable news sources.
  • Have participants come up with three anxiety-causing headlines (either real or imagined) and write them on a piece of paper.
  • Ask each participant to choose one headline from the list to discuss with their peers.
  • Have them take turns writing their headlines on the dry-erase board.
  • Discuss each headline, why it causes anxiety, and if there is anything the participant can do to prevent/reduce anxiety from reading this kind of headline in the future.

Discussion Questions

  • What types of headlines cause you the most anxiety?
  • How can knowing the reliability of a news source help with your anxiety?
  • What are some things you can do when struggling to make sense of local and worldwide events?

Pro Tips:

  • Consider allowing participants to briefly explain their chosen headline.
  • Acknowledge that every headline, both big and small, has the potential to cause anxiety.
  • Brainstorm a list of things participants can and can’t control about current events unfolding around them.

We’re in this Together

logo image of the real recreation therapist blogThese days, those in helping professions are dealing with unique challenges. The desire to improve the quality of life for those we serve while maintaining our own physical and mental health is a delicate balance.

That being said, sharing your thoughts, experiences, and ideas is more critical than ever. If you’ve been on the frontline providing services for those in need, you are a VALUABLE resource.

We’re all struggling with unknowns and uncertainties. Just like a group opening up about anxiety headlines, what we share begins the important discussions on how we can effectively help others.

Join the TRRT community & discuss, share this article on social media, and be a voice for those in the helping professions. Your input makes a difference.

Like this Activity?

As mentioned earlier, this anxiety headlines activity–featured in my book–is just ONE OF MANY (150 to be exact) opportunities to engage your participants in the important issues they’re facing today. 

Take a couple minutes to learn more about my new book. For less than the cost of a family sized pizza with your favorite toppings, you have the chance to expand your therapy toolbox with simple, but effective ideas that start important conversations. 

You’re Valued

I appreciate you spending time checking out this article. Keep doing what you’re doing and being a light in others’ lives. 

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